Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 2, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

8:00 am
06/02/14 06/02/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! back in the clinton administration, would not have imagined in the same room, is the same chair as a few years later, people would be sitting around with long lists and folders with pictures and names of people and voting on who would live and who would die. i think we might never have authorized the first use of lethal force against bin laden.
8:01 am
richard clarke, the nation's former counterterrorism czar under bill clinton and george w. bush. 15 years ago, he pushed for the arming of u.s. drones. yes now become a critic and is accuse the of -- has accused the obama ministration of covering up the number of civilian casualties in drone strikes. a john brennan, who replaced couple removed in the white house, at one point said there were none, which i found laughable, no program has none. >> and richard clarke on whether his former boss president bush should be tried for war crimes. >> it is clear that things the bush administration did, in my mind at least it is clear, some of the things they did were war crimes. >> all of that and more coming up.
8:02 am
this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the last known american prisoner of war in afghanistan has been freed in a prisoner swap with the taliban. bowe bergdahl was held captive since going missing in june 2009. there have been rumors he left his base unarmed after turning against the war. he was freed over the weekend after the u.s. agreed to release five taliban leaders from guantánamo bay in a deal brokered by qatar. joined by bergdahl's parents, president obama announced the news of the white house. >> good afternoon, everybody. this morning, i called bob and jani bergdahl and said after nearly five years in captivity, their son bowe is coming home. we are committed to winding down the war in afghanistan and we are committed to closing gitmo. we also made an ironclad
8:03 am
commitment to bring our prisoners of war home. that is who we are as americans. it is a profound obligation within our military and today, at least in this instance, it is a promise we have been able to keep. >> the prisoner deal has come under criticism from republicans who oppose making deals with the taliban. the administration also failed to give congress the required 30 day notice for the release of detainees. speaking to nbc news, defense secretary chuck hagel said the ministration acted because bergdahl's life was in danger. >> i think america's record is pretty clear on going after terrorists, especially those who take hostages, and i don't think what we did in getting our prisoner of war released in any way would somehow encourage our american take
8:04 am
servicemen prisoner or hostage. this essentially, in our opinion, was to save the life of sergeant bergdahl. as i said before, we had information that his health could be deteriorating rapidly. there was a question about his safety. we found an opportunity and took that opportunity. >> chuck hagel was speaking on "meet the press." the five taliban prisoners arrived in qatar on sunday. under the terms of the deal, they will be forced to remain there for one year. bergdahl is being treated in an american military hospital in germany and will return to the u.s. at a later date. e-mails reported by the late journalist michael hastings show bowe went missing after turning against the war he was fighting. in an e-mail to his parents from afghanistan, bowe had reportedly said "i am sorry for everything. the horror that as america is disgusting."
8:05 am
bergdahl's parents had first revealed their son was the subject of prisoner swap negotiations are years ago when u.s.-taliban talks broke down. yeah, they spoke about their son's release. >> five years is a seemingly endless long time. but you have made it. i imagine you're more patient and compassionate than ever. you are free. freedom is yours. i will see you soon, my beloved son. i love you. >> we haven't talked to bowe yet. we haven't called him on the phone. although you we do have the capability to do that with satellite technology. there's a reason for that, and that is because bowe has been gone so long, that it is going to be very difficult to come back. it's like a diver going deep on a dive and has to stage back up through recompression to get the
8:06 am
nitrogen bubbles out of the system. if he comes up too fast, it could kill him. >> bob bergdahl also spoke to his son, one of the two official in which is in afghanistan, saying "i am your father, bowe." unveiled today are been described as the us government's most sweeping effort to date in curbing the emissions that cause global warming. the epa will reportedly announce a draft rule seeking a 30% reduction of carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants by the year 2030. the rules would be finalized within the year and take effect in 2016. in his weekly radio address, president obama said the new regulations will bring cleaner air. >> today about 40% of america's carbon pollution comes from power plants. but right now, there are no national limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe. none.
8:07 am
we limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur, and arsenic that power plants put in our air and water, but they can dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. it is not smart. it is not say. and it doesn't make sense. >> the senate is expected to take up the new measure this week that would overhaul the nation's health-care system for veterans in the wake of a scandal over cover-up of lengthy wait times. the proposal from senator bernie sanders would make it easier for the department of veterans affairs to dismiss employees, expand medical space, and send veterans to private providers if wait times are too long. sanders is unveiling the measure following friday's resignation of veterans affairs secretary eric shinseki. president obama announced shinseki's departure on friday. >> he took responsibility for conduct does facilities and apologized. in a few minutes ago, he offered me his own resignation. with considerable regret, i
8:08 am
accepted. he does not want to be a distraction because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care they need. that was ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. and i agree. we don't have time for distractions. we need to fix the problem. >> inspector general's review last week found v.a. officials across the system falsified records to hide lengthy wait times for appointments. generals and psyche -- shinseki will be replaced by his deputy, sloan gibson. shinseki apologized to the nation's veterans. >> we now know the v.a. has a systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity within some of our facilities. that breach of trust involved the tracking of paycheck wait times for appointments. our initial findings of our ongoing internal review of the large v.a. health care facilities also showed that to be true.
8:09 am
that breach of integrity is a responsible, indefensible, and unacceptable. so given the facts i now know, i apologize as the senior leader the department of veterans affairs. i extend that apology to the people whom i care most deeply about, the veterans of this great country, to their families, and to loved ones who i have been honored to serve. >> senator bernie sanders will introduce his veterans bill as early as today. republicans previously blocked a measure from sanders in february that would have funded a massive expansion of veterans care. disclosures from whistleblower edward snowden show the nsa has collected millions of images for surveillance programs using facial recognition. the nsa is culling an estimated 55,000 facial images per day from sources including driver's licenses, facebook, text messages, e-mails, videoconferences, and other communications. snowden has announced he has applied for asylum in brazil.
8:10 am
his temporary asylum in russia is due to expire in august. the department of health and human services has overturned medicare's blanket ban on sex reassignment surgery. an independent panel within hhs ruled the ban is unreasonable and violates scientific and medical standards. the ruling means transgender patients will be able to seek coverage for gender transition related surgical procedures. nationalement, the center for transgender equality called the decision a major step forward saying "science and fairness are winning over outdated biases." the national park service has announced plans to recognize historical landmarks in the nation's lgbt rights movement. a study to recognize important sites will begin next month. interior secretary sally jewell made the announcement outside new york city stonewall inn, the site of an uprising that helped launch the modern day lgbt movement. , now 14 yearsng ago, was named a national historic landmark.
8:11 am
we are proud of that part of the national park service's role to reserve this part of history, but it is time to do more. so we are announcing that we are going to be launching a theme study next month, june 10, we will be pulling together our nation's finest scholars who will help us tell the story effectively for all americans. >> the stonewall uprising began the morning of june 28, 1960 91 members of a gay community decided to fight back against the new york city police raid on the greenwich village gay bar the stonewall and. community ine lgbt new york city welcomed the interior department's new initiative. >> it is incredibly exciting to hear this announcement. i did not think in my lifetime a place like the stonewall in would be thought of the way that we think of other landmarks and so it is just incredible to see my history honored alongside everybody else's history in this country. lgbt, those who
8:12 am
fought for aids resources, implement discrimination and so many other things, today we honor that. we protect the legacy of those people. we recognize the places it happens that even buildings are more than just bricks and mortar, their institutions of memory >> los angeles has sued jpmorgan chase over allegations of targeting people of color with predatory loans. prosecutors say jpmorgan has engaged "in a continuous had a practice of mortgage discrimination i imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory and legally limited basis." ofeclosures that came out jpmorgan's alleged practices helped trigger a wave of foreclosures in los angeles. the city is seeking compensation for losses in tax revenue and property costs. similar suits have previously been filed against the firms wells fargo, citigroup, and bank of america. white house press secretary jay carney has resigned after more than three years of president obama's chief spokesperson. he spent over two decades as reporter before joining the
8:13 am
white house. you will be replaced by his deputy. the civil rights activist yuri kochiyama has died at the age of 93. rights,pioned civil protested racial inequality, and fought for causes of social justice. her activism began after the bombing of pearl harbor, which in her family were held in a japanese american internment camp. she medially saw the parallels between the oppression of black people and the treatment of japanese americans. in the 1960's and 1970's, she and her husband bill were deeply involved in the civil rights movement and other liberation struggles. she was with malcolm x the day he was gunned down in harlem's audubon ballroom, cradling his head as he lay dying on the stage. to see our interviews with yuri kochiyama, you can go to and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. specialocracy now! today, we spend the hour with richard clarke.
8:14 am
he served as the nation's top counterterrorism official under president clinton and bush. a year before the september 11 attacks, he pushed for the air force to begin arming drones as part of u.s. effort to hunt down osama bin laden. according to clarke, the cia and pentagon initially opposed the mission then september 11 happened. two months later on november 12, 2001, the head of al qaeda's military forces became the first person killed by a predator drone, the hominid atef. since then, drones have killed at least 2000 in at least five countries -- yemen, semi-a, iraq, pakistan, and afghanistan. richard clarke has just written a novel about drone warfare titled, "sting of the drone." democracy now!'s aaron maté and i interviewed richard clarke. i started by asking him to describe the plot of his novel. >> it was very in congress that the american pilots who are swat valley in
8:15 am
pakistan are actually in las vegas were just outside las vegas a creature for space. i try to imagine and did some research into what it was like for those pilots. darkened,in air-conditioned rooms. becausek at night they're trying to fly their planes over pakistan and afghanistan in the daylight. so because of the timeshift, they are on the night shift and local time. but they fly for hours on end. they can fly an eight hour shift or even longer. that entire time, they're shot, a livescreen screen shot on an area in pakistan or afghanistan. and they think they are there. they get into it. they think they're flying over pakistan. they are all trained pilots. they're all people who actually know how to fly fighter planes
8:16 am
and have flown them in the past. most days, they do nothing except reconnaissance. but some days, they actually do a strike. they kill people. out they get up and walk from this darkened, air-conditioned room into nevada. they get in their sports cars and perhaps drive down the road to las vegas. -- ita very incongruous looks a lot like playing a computer game and it has to change the way they think about things. i think back to really work and realizing there killing people -- at realizing they are killing people. these are real people, not a video game. but it is very hard for them to realize that when they go on to their nice ranch houses outside las vegas. so i wanted to capture that. i also wanted to capture the
8:17 am
notion that the people who are the repeated targets of the drones might fight back against the drone program. and if they did that intelligently, using all of the techniques and tricks, political propaganda, intelligence, cyber and military terrorist, what would that look like? and could that include coming to the united states and hunting down the pilots who live in las vegas? i don't want to give away too much of the plot, but that is the premise. >> why did you choose to write this book as a novel? "sting of theite, drone." a i thought if i wrote nonfiction work that provided the history but also provided my opinions in clear form, that would reach a very limited
8:18 am
audience. but i thought if i could write it in a thriller format, if i could succeed in channeling tom clancy, then it would appeal to a broader audience that would just not pick it up if they a screed against drones. i wanted people to read it for enjoyment, but in the process of doing that, to cause them to think and to cause them to learn . not with a heavy hand, but subtly enough that they would recommended tond their friends. but in the process, maybe it would open their minds to some issues. >> think about what? you said cause them to think. what are you most concerned about? you are chief architect of the u.s. drone program. >> well, i'm not sure i accept that title.
8:19 am
what is true, and i outline in the altar stood at the end of the book, is that under president clinton and briefly under president bush, i was in charge of counterterrorism. it became very clear to us that al qaeda was trying to kill americans. they did kill americans. and they're looking to do it in a big way. we ask the justice department, the fbi, the military to try to get this guy. and our goal initially was to get him and bring him back to the united states and to try him in a court in the united states, as we had with so many other successfully, i might add. but they couldn't do it. the question arose, if we can't get him -- if we can't arrest him, is there anything we can do to stop him. one of the questions was, could we do something other than just
8:20 am
throw cruise missiles into afghanistan as had been done in the past with no real success? was there some way we could have a very precise weapon where we would know that we were attacking him and very few other people, and it would be very limited collateral damage? that was the program i tried to create. i was unsuccessful in creating it. and after 9/11, everybody who had opposed it then said they were in favor of it. i was never the architect of what happened after that. what happened after that, as you say, was probably 2500 people got killed in five countries. think, isrogram, i counterproductive. it is that i would like people to think about. >> so is this a problem in a
8:21 am
scale? has the drone program is growing too big? -- president obama bowing to you have president obama bowing to look at the drone program. >> the first question, are you willing to use lethal force against the terrorist based on what you believe is evidence or intelligence that he is about to kill americans? just an unfair to get them before they get us? >> i answer that question yes in the case of osama bin laden. i was very confident he was trying to kill large numbers of people and there was no way i could stop him short of a lethal attack. so having answer that question yes, then the question is, well, if you're going to get him, who else can you get? who else can you have that same
8:22 am
justification for? i think what happened -- and it happened largely under president obama -- was the aperture got very, very broad. not only were they targeting people whose names they knew, they were targeting people whose names they didn't know. there were targeting people in --called signature strikes when a place look like a terrorist camp. and they were able, after looking at that place for days on end, to satisfy themselves this is a terrorist camp. then they attacked back camp without knowing, frankly, the names of the people who were there. the result was, collateral damage. we don't know how much. there are widely varying estimates of the number of innocent people who have been killed in each of these cases. we do know innocent people were
8:23 am
killed. as recently as the attack in yemen at the end of last year that blew up a wedding. when you do things like that, you cause enemies for the united states that will last for generations. all of these innocent people that you kill have brothers and sisters and tribe -- tribal relations. many of them were not opposed to the united states prior to someone -- one of their friends or relatives being killed. then, sometimes, they cross over not only to being opposed to the united states, but by being willing to pick up arms and become a terrorist against the united states. so you may actually be creating terrorists rather than eliminating them are using this program in the wrong way. >> what are your estimates, your best estimate of how many innocent civilians have been killed? you say roughly 2500 people have been killed in five
8:24 am
countries. human rights watch, stanford nyu study say hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians have been killed. what do you think it is, richard clarke? >> it is clearly not thousands, but i have looked at most of those studies and i don't think any of them are systematic enough and the source is good enough to put a number on it. it is clearly too many. >> would you say clearly hundreds? >> i don't know hundreds. it is very difficult for me to know without access to the intelligence, frankly, which i don't have anymore. ahn brennan, who replaced me couple removed in the white house, at one point said there were none -- which i found laughable. no program has none. >> john brennan is now head of the central intelligence agency. in a minute we will continue
8:25 am
with richard clarke who served as the nation's top counterterrorism official under president clinton and bush. in the last segment of today, we ask clarke of president bush should be tried for war crimes. he has just published a novel titled, "sting of the drone." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:26 am
>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation with richard clarke on drone warfare. he served under president clinton and bush. a year before the september 11 attacks, he pushed for the air force to begin arming drones as part of the u.s. effort to hunt down osama bin laden. richard clarke is just published a novel titled, "sting of the drone." this is president obama in may 2013 giving a major counterterrorism speech in which
8:27 am
he spoke about drone strikes. >> the for any strike is taken, there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured. the highest standard we can set. yes, the conflict with al qaeda, like all armed conflict, invites but by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life. >> that was president obama in that address where you were sitting. that was may 23. as you pointed out, just in december, the bombing of the wedding party in yemen. >> that's right. clearly, there was a mistake made in yemen. it leads you to wonder, are these new rules really fully enforced? who is making the decisions?
8:28 am
the president led us to believe that individual decisions on strikes are made in washington with large numbers of people involved, including a lot of lawyers involved, making sure that very specific rules are followed. well, if that is the case, and if you have to look at the target for more than a day and be very sure there's no collateral damage, no innocent civilians in the area, it is very hard to understand how that attack in yemen occurred. >> i want to go back to your book. often it is said you can write more truth in fiction and nonfiction. you, richard clarke, have written "sting of the drone." officers andia agents who write books have to be vetted by the cia. but did your book have to be vetted by any government agency? >> yes, unfortunately, all of my
8:29 am
books for the rest of my life have to be reviewed by the government. >> and did they object to any parts of this book? >> they did not. >> there's a part of the book aere the drone bombs a h in major city. is that a warning of a scenario that you envision we might face? >> is meant to ask the question, what is too far? in that incident and the novel, the americans say to each other, we can do this precisely. we can do this very, very narrowly so the only people who are damaged in any way are terrorists were plotting an imminent attack on the metros, the subways in germany. we can prevent that attack and no one else will be harmed.
8:30 am
oh, the austrian government won't let us do this if we ask them for permission, but we can nod withnk wink od the austrian security service and they won't really mine. well, we have been in that decision many times. the cia western extraordinary renditions in italy where the cia station in rome went out and picked people up off the streets attacksevent terrorists -- without the permission of the italian government, but with a clear understanding from the italian security services that this was ok. well, now those cia personnel are wanted in italy. and i think they have even been tried in absentia. so i don't think the senior talking about is too much of a stretch -- seen you're talking about is too much of a stretch.
8:31 am
the droneo talk about disintegrating. are you talking about real technology here? how these drones -- i mean, you yourself were the one is adjusted arming drones, arming surveillance drones, but is this real, a drone disintegrating so no one could detected after the attack? >> it's not a program that i know about. it may be a program that exists, but surly not one that i know about. there are several things in the novel where i am stretching the existing technology to where i think it is going so that we can see in the near future what kind of things we might be faced with . clearly, one of them is if you want to do a drone attack that leaves no trace, that looks like a gas explosion, that looks like a car bomb, could you do that?
8:32 am
, if you usetoday is a drone attack, there is going to be fragments of the missile. well, what if the missile were designed to totally disintegrate and disappear so there would be no fingerprint? i don't think that is far off in the future. it may exist now, i'm not sure. characters inal your book, "sting of the drone," go to the unmanned aerial vehicle exhibition and conference in las vegas. interesting so much of this happens in las vegas, whether we're talking about creech air force base or this convention. one says to the other, this is the fit israeli company i have seen so far. talk about israel's involvement in drones. you say there are three countries that have used military drones, drones as
8:33 am
weapons, the 40 countries have the potential to. talk about what happens in your novel. >> in that seen in the exhibit center in las vegas, there is not the boat show or the car show, but the drone show. people who have read the novel has said, well, that will never happen. actually, it happens every year. it is perfectly true. there is a drone show and it is in las vegas. companies from all over the world bring their drones and put them out on the floor for display and, presumably, sale, just like you'd would see at a boat show. show,ou go to that drone one of the things that are striking, is the number of israeli companies, the number of israeli drones. the reason for that is the israelis started this all. the israelis created the first drone -- in fact, the first drone the united states had was one the marines bought from
8:34 am
israel. the israelis are very good at this sort of thing. and they have a wide variety of drones, a wide variety of sizes. the israelis have used them armed. the russians have used them armed. to the best of my knowledge, no other country has used in armed drone. but as you say, i think 40 countries have them. if you look at the chinese inventory -- again, they have a wide for 80 as well -- but they have one that looks just like the was predator. it is so remarkably like the u.s. predator him a that people in the us government believe the chinese hacked into general atomics, the company that makes the predator, and got the blueprints and diagrams and essentially built a predator and are now selling at thomas
8:35 am
anybody who will buy it. >> on the issue of private citizens using drones, i wonder if you have concerns about what in extremis could do with drone technology if they wanted to attack a government building like the man who attacked an irs facility a few years ago, what concerns do you have about how citizens could use drones for untoward ends? >> the fbi conducts these sting operations around the country where they find someone who is interested in fundamentalist islam, and then they try to turn them into a terrorist. and they did this with a guy up in boston. they suggested, the fbi pretending to be islamists, suggested to this fellow that he buy a drone, a toy aircraft and put explosives into it and fly
8:36 am
it into the pentagon. well, he did not know where to get it so the fbi told him. then he said he didn't have enough money to do it, so they gave him the money. after they virtually forced this guy to buy the thing, they arrested him. so it is clear that at least the fbi is thinking there are people who are going to get these existing drones or whatever you want to call them and put explosives on them. i think that is one thing that we do have to worry about. i the secret service is worried about the president giving a speech outdoor some day and a drone divebombing onto the podium. will they see it coming and time? we have already had an incident in florida where someone flying a commercially available drone, private citizen, almost ran into a passenger jet that was landing in florida. there's an issue about whether
8:37 am
or not you can fly a drone over somebody else's backyard or flight up to their window and take pictures. and the law is a little hazy. apparently, in most states, you don't control the airspace above your house. and so you can be out skinny-dipping in the backyard in your pool and somebody can fly a drone overhead and take xers. and post them on the internet. and that appears to be legal. i think there are lots of issues with regard -- >> richard clarke, can you talk about the size and shapes of some of these drones, what they look like, how small they can be like an insect that flies? is work going on, government-sponsored work going on, to make drones that really do look like mockingbirds or hummingbirds. really quite small. nano, if you will.
8:38 am
they can be used for spying, reconnaissance, and they can be that small and they can be as large as a 737. the one the government is using now called global hawk, which is northrop, is the size of a 737. there's everything from that at the high-end to the hummingbird at the low end, everything in between. and they're being made all over the country, being made all over the world. big part going to be a of our future. whether or not they're delivering amazon books, which i don't think will ever happen, but they will be a big part of our future. they will be doing the traffic reports for us. farmers are already using them crop yields. the coast guard is already using them for search-and-rescue. so drones are going to be part
8:39 am
of our future, and we need to understand what the rules are that we want so we control them and not the other way around. >> it is interesting the new plot line of fox's "24," a terrorist group takes control of the u.s. drone fleet and uses it to attack a civilian population of london. >> that is also an incident in my novel. and it springs from a couple of things. first, the iranians saying they hacked their way into a u.s. drone and costed to land in iran -- caused it to land in iran. the pentagon says that is not true, that it just happened to be over iran and happened to land. the pentagon doesn't really explain in any detail how that happened. so it is possible that the iranians did in fact hacked their way in. anything that is networked, for
8:40 am
my work on cyber security, i know that anything on the network can be hacked. any control system can be taken over. the possibility of people hacking their way to the control systems on drones is quite real. >> richard clarke served as counterterrorism czar under fenton and bush. a year before the september 11 attacks he pushed for the air force to begin arming drones as part of u.s. to hunt down osama bin laden and has just published titled "sting of the drone." when we come back, we ask him if his former boss resident bush should be tried for war crimes. ♪ [music break]
8:41 am
>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation on drone strikes with richard clarke. he served as counterterrorism czar under president clinton and bush. he resigned in 2003 following the iraq invasion and later made headlines by accusing bush
8:42 am
officials of ignoring pre-9/11 warnings about an imminent attack by al qaeda. aaron maté and i interviewed richard clarke last week and asked about a 2012 u.s. drone strike that killed a 67-year-old pakistani woman while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren. in december, we spoke to her grandchildren, nine-year-old nabila and her brother, 13-year-old zubair, both of whom were injured in the strike. >> i had gone to school that day when i came back i had a snack and offered my prayers. my grandma asked to come outside and help her pick the vegetables. >> you were hit by the drone that killed her grandmother? >> yes, i had seen a drone and two missiles hit where my grandmother was standing in front of me, and she was blown into pieces and i was injured to my left leg. >> nabila, you are nine years old. how have things changed for you since the attack?
8:43 am
how is your going out again, out into the fields alone? do you fear again of other possible attacks? >> ever since the strike, i'm just scared. i'm always scared. all of his little kids were scared to go outside. >> that his nine-year-old nabila and her 13-year-old brother zubair, who have had in those operations doing with her own injuries. their grandmother, killed. zubair, the 13-year-old, talked about how they are afraid to go out on a blue sky day because that is when the drones particularly strike, it is the gray days they feel safer. can you respond to actually hearing the targets of these drones, whether or not they were intended? because in the united states, we are here at the trigger and, but
8:44 am
we rarely hear what it feels like to be underneath the drone. >> it raises the question, how did that happen? and what was the result of that? did anybody get punished? there is a file. you know there is. there has to be a file somewhere in the united states government about that incident. and we don't know if anyone looked into it, if anyone was punished. we don't know -- we understand why the mistake was made -- we if weon't know understand why the mistake was made. there is such secrecy and lack of transparency that we just have to take the government's word for it that there are very few mistakes, and that we learn from our mistakes. but i think in an incident like that, it would actually serve the government's purpose better to share the results of an investigation, to do an
8:45 am
investigation -- which i hope and assume there was -- but we don't know. and to show the results of that investigation. how is it possible, given all of the work on targeting, how was it possible for those children to be hit? and what are we doing about it, both in terms of correcting our procedures and in trying to, say the family? if they were hit by an american artillery shell or an artillery and american tank, a soldier would go there under the rules that were used in iraq and apologize, if they could find people to apologize too, and pay the family compensation -- which is acceptable in islamic tradition, as part of repentance, pay compensation. sounds like that family has never been in any way contacted. and certainly, not recompensed.
8:46 am
i think there are ways the united states government could have done this better that would have resulted in fewer collateral damage incidents. >> richard clarke, i want to interrupt his say, you are not just an average american with the contents who hears this story. i mean, we say the government should be doing this, you are part of the government for so many years. you were an architect of the program. that makes particularly important what it is you're saying. instead, the us government in visacase would not give a to the lawyer to travel with them, who speaks english, who would be their guide when they testified before congress, you know, to help them. i assume, thinking they would not been coming to the country where the weapon was from that killed her grandmother. but they came anyway, even when the u.s. government blocked their lawyer from coming. >> let's just be clear, i was
8:47 am
not part of the government when this sort of thing was going on. i quit the government after 30 years because i could not tolerate the bush decision to invade iraq. and before he launched the invasion of iraq, i quit. arming the advocate predator to go after bin laden, i was never involved in decisions to do widespread use of the predator. this is not my program that i'm the architect of. and aup to what i did, make it very clear in the book, but don't want to be blamed for things i didn't do. i think the program got out of hand. i think the excessive secrecy about its is as counterproductive as some of the strikes are. >> do you think president bush should be brought up on war crimes and vice president cheney and donald rumsfeld for the attack on iraq? >> i think things that they
8:48 am
authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. whether that would be productive or not, i think is a discussion we could all have. we have established procedures now with the international criminal court in the hague asre people who take actions serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. edent isresident -- prec there to do that sort of thing. i think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that. in the case of members of the bush and administration. it is clear things the bush administration did, in my mind at least it is clear, that some of the things they did were war crimes. richard clarke, you're part of the clinton administration and you took part in the discussions on the issue of who
8:49 am
the targets were. -- on who to target. on this issue in 2002, he testified before congress and you said "we didn't want to create a broad president that would allow intelligent officials that hit list and routinely engage in something that approximated assassination. there was concern about the justice department and in some elements of the white house and some elements of the cia that we not create an american hit list that would become an ongoing institution that would to just keep adding names to and have hit teams go out and assassinate people." can you talk about the deliberations that took place when you were there under president clinton? >> we have established that bin laden wanted to kill large numbers of americans. and the only option that we had to target him, since we couldn't fly in and pick him up and arrest him, although, we had tried that, was cruise missile attacks. and as cruise missile attacks
8:50 am
created high risk of collateral damage -- and those cruise missile attacks created high risk of collateral damage and created a whole new set of problems. we looked at -- it was legal to use cruise missiles, which would kill a lot of people, why wasn't it legal to you something that was more precise that would just go after the very few people at we were concerned with? and that discussion went on for a while. we knew there was a barrier there that we were sure we wanted to cross. ultimately, the fact was that president clinton did authorize cia to attempt to arrest bin laden and failing that, he authorized the use of lethal force. that was a time when we crossed the barrier and actually had a name on a hit list. we knew, however, the israelis had been doing this for a long
8:51 am
time, coming up with hit lists. we knew it was extremely counterproductive in their case. we wanted to avoid that. to the bush administration and then the obama administration, and you have, as i described in chapter two of the novel, a kill committee. people who sit around in the white house passing folders back and forth of names and voting on who they're going to kill. i just find it went way too far. if any of us back in the clinton administration would have imagined in the same room, and the same chairs is a few years later, people would be sitting around with a long lists and folders with pictures and names of people and voting on who would live and who would die, i think we might never have authorized the first use of lethal force against bin laden. >> richard clarke, i want to go
8:52 am
to a clip of glenn greenwald on democracy now! a few weeks ago talking about nsa whistleblower edward snowden's reaction to drones. >> one of the things he told me that was a turning point for him was he had in nsa job in japan -- and this was the job right before dell -- that he said he was able to watch the real-time surveillance being fed by drones in which you could see an entire village and a place where america is not at work, like yemen or somalia or pakistan. and you could literally see dots of people and what they were doing. then he would have intelligence about who they were calling. and this vast picture that was able to be created of them by not even physically being in the country. in the invasiveness and the extent of that surveillance he said was something even he, working inside this community, had no idea even existed. >> he was watching a village before it was struck by a drone? >> these were surveillance
8:53 am
drones, typically. so it wasn't even necessarily that the drones were killing people, although, many times they did. that was the reason for putting these villages understood balance, to decide who to kill. but he could watch him its u.s. government covertly could put entire populations under a microscope. the fact is that been done without his fellow citizens knowing about it or debate was alarming to him. and the more he came to see how ubiquitous this system was, the market felt he felt to keep it -- to not keep it a secret. >> that his pulitzer prize winning journalist glenn greenwald along with laura poydras who revealed a number of the documents that edward snowden made available to them when they interviewed him in hong kong. richard clarke, you said on in nsa advisory committee for president obama in dealing with these revelations. in a sense, edward snowden is having the same reactions that
8:54 am
alarmed at what he was looking at, villages that could soon be struck by u.s. drones. >> well, i did for six months serve on an advisory board that looked into some of the revelations about nsa and recommended the termination of the so-called section 215 program, the telephone metadata program. we recommended -- we made 46 recommendations. they're all unclassified and are online. the president has taken some of them. unfortunately, he hasn't taken all of them. that is a subject for another discussion. i have no problem with reconnaissance. reconnaissance occurs all the time. there are lots of countries now that have satellites with high resolution cameras that take pictures all the time. that doesn't trouble me.
8:55 am
i've grown used to it. i've grown used to the fact that in the city of washington, i'm probably on 100 cameras a day whether it is an elevator or on the sidewalk or driving in my car. car, theen i'm in the cameras get me because they send me a ticket. but we're on camera all the time. and not just by the government. in stores we're on camera. and stores are now combining that information with our mobile phones to look at our buying patterns and notice we spent some time at the perfume counter and we did not find the thing, or we get a little text e-mail telling us about perfume because we have an interest in it. because they saw as on a camera standing in front of the counter. the surveillance by government and by the private sector and
8:56 am
the use of data -- big data analysis, matching data from one source with data from another, is a real issue that we need to address as a government. president obama has started that. he is asked john podesta to do a data review of the big review of the possibilities out there. i think we as a country need to have a discussion about that. but your thoughts about edward snowden. in a similar -- and an interesting way, you similar to you. you talked about how president bush came up to you and said, what, the issue with iraq and you look at him startled when after 9/11 saying, iraq has nothing to do with it. you blew the whistle like edward snowden did. your thoughts on that kind of parallel and what you think should happen to edward snowden? >> well, there's not too much of a parallel. i resigned, quit the government
8:57 am
, testifying before congressional committee and before the 9/11 commission, thee a book revealing what bush administration had and had not done to stop 9/11. and what they did after the fact. how the president after the fact want me to blame iraq for the 9/11 attack. what snowden has done has clearly exposed globe -- programs that were stupid, that i think were it legal, some of them, personally, in my view, and those programs -- some of them have stopped. i have been part of the effort to stop some of them, particularly the 215 telephone metadata program, which i did not know about. i have been out of the government for 10 years. when i found out about it as a result of the snowden revelations, i was gob smacked. i cannot believe the government
8:58 am
was doing it. >> richard clarke served as counterterrorism czar under president clinton and president bush. he has just published a novel titled, "sting of the drone." he recently served on president obama's advisory panel on nsa spying. if you'd like a copy of today's show, go to also on her website, you can watch our interview with the long time japanese-american civil rights activist yuri kochiyama, who's died at the age of 93. she talks about being with malcolm x. when he was assassinated in 1965, as well as her time living in a japanese internment camp. that does it for the show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
8:59 am
9:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on